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Rumours of exoticism surround Duncan

A week or so ago Susanna suggested in the comments that Duncan might be an orange Norwegian Forest Cat. I’d never heard of the breed, but I liked how exotic it sounded. I searched for images and concluded that oh yes, Duncan comes from a long line of Norwegian Forest Cats. These are not dainty little house cats. These are magnificent beasts. Survivors. Vikings!

Here’s a picture I found on the Internet:

Someone else's orange Norwegian Forest Cat

And this is Duncan:

Duncan and Zoom

Okay hers is longer and fluffier and mine is oranger and more muscular. But apart from that, they’re practically twins!

Let’s turn now to the history and description of the breed and see how Duncan measures up.

From the Cat Fanciers’ Association:

“These are the cats that explored the world with the Vikings, protecting the grain stores on land and sea, and which are believed to have left their progeny on the shores of North America as a legacy to the future.”

Oh yeah, Duncan could totally sail the high seas with Vikings and protect their grain stores. And he’d be all over that progeny thing if he wasn’t neutered. I sleep with him every night and I’m certain of it.

From Wikipedia:

“The Norwegian Forest Cat is …. adapted to a very cold climate.”

Duncan hasn’t complained – not even once – about this godforsaken winter.

“In Norway they are known as Skogkat: Forest Cat. They emerged from the Scandinavian forests 4000 years ago.”

Yesterday I casually said “So Duncan, do you think you might be a Skogkat?” and he looked at me sagely. I think that says it all.

“Norwegian Forest Cats have a thick fluffy double-layered coat, tufted ears and a long bushy tail to protect them against the cold. Their coat is essentially waterproof due to its coarse outer layer and dense underlay.”

Yes! Duncan’s got it all going on with the Norwegian Forest Cat coat.

“They are very large cats with adult males weighing 6 to 10 kg (13 to 22 lb), while females are approximately half that size. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs.”

Duncan currently weighs 9kg. His hind legs might be marginally longer than his front legs, but every time I try to measure them, he sits down.

“They are very intelligent, playful cats that enjoy human company.”

Duncan’s a genius and he loves human company. (He’s not playful though. Honestly, he can barely bring himself to watch me play with his toys.)

From the Norwegian Forest Cat Club:

“they have a particular liking for water, with the ability to catch fish in lakes and streams”

I haven’t had him during fishing season yet, but he does love water. He dangles a paw in the tub while watching me bathe.

“These lovely cats are really two for the price of one, they can differ so greatly in looks from summer to winter. Some time in the spring they take off their “winter underwear,” the downy undercoat that provides warmth, and the long non-tangling outer guardhairs that act as protection from rain and snow.”

I’ve only had him for one season, but if Spring ever arrives I’ll be watching eagerly when he takes off his winter underwear.

“A question frequently asked is about the care the long coats require. As one breeder is fond of saying: ‘Mother Nature does not have hairdressers in the deep woods, so she did not design [the Norwegian Forest Cat] to require the daily attention necessary to some other longhaired breeds.’ ”

Duncan hardly sheds at all. He’s had no knots or tangles, just a tiny mat on his throat. He’s surprisingly low maintenance from a grooming perspective.

Speaking of grooming, I just got my hair cut. This is what it looks like when the hairdresser styles it. I tried doing it myself once, but the round brush got hopelessly stuck in my hair, right up against my scalp. I thought I was going to have to go downtown on the bus with a brush stuck to my head and get my hairstylist to remove it. I did manage to get it out, but since then I have left hairstyling to the professionals. I only look like this picture four days each year.

zoom and duncan

15 comments to Rumours of exoticism surround Duncan

  • Mo

    Duncan does look a lot like the Forest Cat. I think he may also have some features of the Maine Coon cat too! See the pictures for Leo (Guiness book longest cat for 2006) and Moose farther down the same page. There is a really cute pic of Moose being held by his owner on the lower right side of the page that immediately made me think only of the LOVABLE Duncan!


  • Mo

    P.S. Your hair looks great! I am the same way — very dangerous to myself with round brushes and curling irons.

  • Oma

    I laughed out loud as I read this post. You were so quiet till now I thought maybe you were cooking up a storm or finding more two dimensional pets.

  • Woodsy

    I just want to stick my face in Duncan’s tummy and raspberry it…

    The hair looks very foxy!

  • my mother wanted to get a Maine Coon cat once. we visited the only breeder in australia (at the time) but she changed her mind when she saw how big they were.

    and duncan looks way bigger than a Maine Coon.

    great hair by the way

  • Melinda

    If Duncan sat on my cats, the would suffocate. He could squash them both at once. How much does he eat??

  • I wish my male cat was some exotic breed that totally explained away his need for a diet. At least Duncan is meant to be large in order to scare away Ice Age rats from Viking grain stores. Phlox is just portly because he is a lazy ass.

  • k

    I have a big B&W Tuxedo cat named Maximillian. Sophisticated & suave like Cary Grant, but a bit of a bruiser. He was a rescue from a loading dock. He is such a momma’s boy like Duncan. I sort of forced him into it though. I’d give him kissies & such even tho he didn’t want them, but now he does it freely! I give him the razz on his belly, too. I actually blow musical notes, & he loves it!?!? You absolutely MUST check out This lady helped develop the training program they use on dolphins, & I’ve been able to communicate & work w/Max in a way unlike any of my other cats before him. Because of this program I’ve taught him not to be afraid of the vacuum, he loves to jump & fetch paper balls (he has his own flower pot filled w/them so he can take them out & play whenever he wants), & he takes walks outside on a leash drawing attention wherever he goes. I really highly endorse this natural way of ‘enhancing’ your cat’s own natural behaviour. I promise–you won’t be disappointed. lol

  • Heehee! Love the shots of Duncan’s belly… makes me want to stick my face right in there and snorgle it. Although I’d get my face removed if I did that with my cat, it remains a huge temptation… who can resist fuzzy kitty belly??!

  • susie

    I too have a huge cat named Leo. I adopted him. Some sick person set him on fire. He is scared and crippled but has the heart of a lion. He is of course fat, but he too looks like the Norweigan Forest Cat. I’m going to suggest his heritage to his vet, I’ll see how well that flys. I’m sure the vet will continue his weight reduction diet.
    You’re hair is adorable. I enjoy reading your blog, it makes me laugh.

  • Mo, Duncan and Moose could be long-lost littermates!

    Melinda – he just eats a small can of cat food every day, and 2 ounces of dry food. It must be the copious amounts of water that are puffing him up like that!

    k – hmmm. I’ve never tried to train a cat to do anything. But since you SWEAR by that program, I’m going to go take a look.

    I think it’s funny that so many people want to raspberry Duncan’s tummy. He’d love it.

    Susie – Leo sounds like the ultimate survivor, having seen the best and the worst in people. I’m happy he ended up with you.

  • He is vast. He is enorme. That is a great cat.

    I have also had round brushes stuck in my hair. Ouch.

  • If not forest cat he may be part Maine Coone… or just “big-boned” like my tub o’ flub… whatever he is looks liek he’s all love!

  • Such a beautiful kitty!! I’d love to have one just like him.

  • […] snow tax. I bought my first piece of art and I got my Mojo Kit! It was determined that Duncan is a Norwegian Forest Cat. He was incorporated into a piece of street art, and he caught a […]